DANBURY, Conn. — After announcing last fall to great fanfare that it would build a brand new world headquarters in the city, Danbury-based Praxair Inc. has shifted gears and instead decided to purchase an office building for $20 million from GE Capital Corp.
Praxair, a global leader in industrial gases and applications, said last October in an announcement with Gov. Dannel Malloy and other federal, state and local leaders that it would invest $65 million to build a 100,000-square-foot corporate office at a yet-to-be-named site somewhere in Danbury.
"After a thorough evaluation of opportunities to lease, build, or buy office space in the greater Danbury area, Praxair will be relocating its global headquarters to 10 Riverview Drive in Danbury," Praxair said in a statement. "The Riverview property, purchased from GE Capital Corporation, is an excellent fit for our business and we anticipate completing the move by the end of 2016."
The purchase price for 179,000-square-foot building in the Berkshire Corporate Park was about $20 million, according to the Fairfield County Business Journal.
Last fall, Praxair officials said the company had considered out-of-state sites, including in Texas and New York, for its new headquarters before deciding to remain in Danbury.
"We are proud of the work our employees do here in Connecticut and around the globe to sustain our position as leaders in the industrial gas industry and in our local communities," Praxair said. "We appreciate the support of our state and local governments and community leaders throughout this process."
Praxair has 535 employees in the state, including more than 400 in Danbury.
Had Praxair built a new headquarters, the deal with the state Department of Economic and Community Development would have included a $10 million forgivable loan, up to $20 million in tax credits as well as up to $2.5 million in sales and use tax exemptions.
"It's always nice to beat out Texas," Malloy said last fall. "What we have in Danbury is exceptional -- an exceptional workforce, an exceptional lifestyle, an exceptional transportation system."
At that time, Praxair Chairman and CEO Steve Angel said Praxair got its start as a spin-off of the once Danbury-based Union Carbide. Praxair has long been based in the Matrix office building on Old Ridgebury Road off Exit 1 of Interstate 84.
"We considered where our corporate headquarters should be, but our employees are happy to be in Danbury," he said.
A Fortune 250 company with 4,000 patents, Praxair employs more than 27,000 people and operates in 50 countries.
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